Kids in London - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Posted by KimT on Monday 7th of August 2017




When I saw the trailer months ago I was excited – it looked like Valerian could be a classic like Avatar. I put the release date into my diary.

So on Saturday we went along to see the 3D version. I was filled with anticipation. And it started off well – there was a parade of fantastic aliens arriving at space station Alpha – with humans trying hard to work out how to shake hands with some of them. Then we were whisked off to the fabulous paradise world of Mul (a beach rather than the forest in Avatar) inhabited by the Peals who have incredibly cute creatures called Converters (I want one).

Cara Delevingne as Sergeant Laureline was fabulous - a real female bad-ass heroine that we can all admire. Clive Owen as the baddie Commander Arun Filitt was, well, Clive Owen in space. Even Rihanna as Bubble, a shapeshifting entertainer - a blue squid-like alien that morphs through a range of sexy singers and performers - did well. The disappointment was Dane DeHaan as Major Valerian. He was an unlikely hero and I’d be surprised if he were to become a pin-up.

Some reviews have been negative about the plot – but I thought it was OK. There was comedy, plenty of action, fantastic CGI and some great concepts – such as the Big Market that is in another dimension, the cave-dwelling bioluminescent butterflies and connected triplets the Doghan Daguis.

There were plenty of nods to other great sci-fi films too - Rutger Hauer made an early brief appearance, some of the space chases felt distinctly Star Wars and the K-Trons are reminiscent of Storm Troopers.

Based on a French science fiction comics series and directed by Luc Besson I am sure that in time it will prove to be a modern classic – even if it doesn’t do particularly well at the box office right now. With the miserable weather for the school holidays this would be an ideal way to entertain the small people. The web site is rather fun too.

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